Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Britney Spears

I don’t follow the gossip press, and I couldn’t care less what Britney Spears does. But last week I had to get out of my protected environment and take the train to New York to film a documentary and not even I could avoid the headlines and the magazines on the floor of the train. So I figured I’d use Britney Spear’s wellpublicized divorce to make a point about women. And about men.

Apparently Britney, who is worth between $150 and $300 million, depending on which gossip magazine you read, is about to get divorced. To make things even juicier, her husband Kevin Federline, who the press calls K-Fed (by the way, doesn’t that sound like a drug? At least he seems to have been on drugs most of his marriage . . . ) has apparently spent his married years with hookers, strippers and was caught with his pants down at the Regency hotel when his wife stormed in. The hotel staff apparently relented and gave her a key, even though she wasn’t signed in, so he got a bit of a surprise. And now two of the hotel employees have been fired. (Can anyone stomp and demand a key to anyone’s room at the Regency?)

Problem for K-Fed is that Britney had this ironclad prenuptial agreement, so now K-Fed is allegedly threatening to sell a sex tape of the two lovebirds having consensual married sex. Perhaps not what Britney expected.

And the price tag is expected to be around $30 million for that tape. So K-Fed wants $50 million from Britney and the kids, or something like that in return for not selling the tape, to which he holds copyright, of their sex.

First, isn’t it sad, if true, that a sex tape with Britney can bring in more money than any Michael Moore movie has ever brought in? Ok, don’t answer that. I liked “Bowling for Columbine,” but I didn’t like “Fahrenheit 911” so much, so I’m hoping for his next one, “Sicko.”

Second, why is everyone beating up on Britney for marrying this deadbeat who made like $30,000 before marrying her, while she made millions? Shouldn’t we encourage our young and wealthy women to marry down to spread their wealth? Ok, don’t answer that one either, because, yeah, she could most certainly have found someone who appeared less sleazy than K-Fed, but then again, Britney isn’t the most classy girl either.

And here’s my real point, what really concerns me, about women.

I’ve read many times that women really don’t go for men who are authors, artists, photographers and other free professions, unless they are already very wealthy or famous (they apparently like rock stars). As an author that hurts a bit.

Women apparently prefer doctors, businessmen, accountants—anything with a stable income. Funny thing is; men don’t seem to be that way. They simply prefer to marry their pretty secretary, I guess to get the same service at home as they expect at work. In fact, nearly half of single women believe their professional success is intimidating to the men they meet. And that is outright sad.

I don’t know if any of this is really true, but those of you watching “Sex and the City,” may remember the episode when Miranda, the tough lawyer (who turned out to be a lesbian in her real life), tells a man she meets at a speed-dating event that she's a flight attendant. He tells her that he's a doctor. Both of them, however, are lying, she to diminish her status, and he to inflate it.

Sylvia Ann Hewlett has presented a study of smart women who weren't getting married or having children at the same rates as other women. In her book “Creating a Life,” she created panic among successful women, writing “Nowadays, the rule of thumb seems to be that the more successful the woman, the less likely it is she will find a husband or bear a child.” She claimed that high-achieving women who were still single at age 30 had a less than 10 percent chance of ever marrying.

Maureen Dowd from the New York Times has fanned the flames and blamed her own single life on her career success. In her book “Are Men Necessary?,” Dowd wrote, “I was always so proud of achieving more—succeeding in a high-powered career that would have been closed to my great-aunts. How odd, then, to find out now that being a maid would have enhanced my chances with men.” (That sentence sure made me understand how she picked the title of her book.)

I guess it doesn’t help that back in 2004 researchers at the University of Michigan published a study in the journal Evolution and Human Behavior. The study claimed that the men in their sample preferred to marry a woman whom they considered to be a subordinate, rather than a woman they considered to be a superior or a peer.

I’m not sure if any of this is true, personally I vastly prefer smart women. But maybe they don’t prefer me anymore now when I’m no longer a doctor or a Vice President at Pfizer, but simply an author. Then again I’m already married so I don’t have to worry. (Uh-uh . . . maybe that means I should worry. I better have a chat with my wife.)

Anyway, as I look around me it certainly seems to be true that men’s fragile ego makes them prefer women who submit to them and make them feel good.

So I think it is wonderful when smart, talented performers like Britney Spears are able to get married. Because, of course, K-Fed didn’t just take her for her money. Then he would be like a wom . . . !

But seriously, one key reason women go for rich men is the same reason people rob banks, “that’s where the money is.”

And the fact that poor men prey upon rich women shouldn’t be surprising. It is only sad that in 2006 so many men still feel emasculated by a relationship with a smart woman and so many women still feel they have to submit to a man to survive.


Anonymous said...

I like this article. And I hope there is a lot of follow up on it. It certainly is, almost, true. Men, it appears, do not mind marrying up when they are still building their careers, or even their education. After that, they have arrived, and they want the women to know it. If he is already married, he may start "sculpting" her body. Yes, you have a nice body, but I like a pear shaped butt, and yours is apple shaped! Then, of course, as he gets "smarter and smarter" and she is having his kids, she becomes "dumber and dumber" and now he is just too smart for her, and she has not kept up. On and on it goes. Actually, men like a little, or a lot, of variety, and various flavors, shapes and combinations. Or, is that not true? In any case, I know a few women who are physicians and can not find a man, or if they find one, he will not marry her. On the other hand, I also know a few male doctors, and the ones I know like to be "needed" and they may "fall in love" with a mental patient. Yeah, what in the world is with men? I talked to one doctor, just yesterday, and mentioned a guy who is "engaged" (never to marry) to a female doctor, and I said, "I think he is holding out for something better". His response was: "yes, he is waiting to win the lottery!" Well, maybe that, or, could it be that men are just afraid that they will make a mistake and then will be stuck with "it"? Oh, if we could just understand MEN, and their logic, and wars, and infidelities.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Rost, it's great to see your posts again. I missed you at HuffPo and didn't know why you were banned. I just found out when I checked out your blog. I've suspected that a number of the trolls were HuffPo employees, too, because they often seemed to be the first ones to comment on topics over and over again - thus setting the tone for the rest of the comments.

I've bookmarked your blog so that I can keep up with your wisdom and nice sense of humor.

It's great to see you on Information Clearing House, and I hope that your articles will be showcased there more often.

I admire your courage, honesty and altruism. I intend to purchase your book, and I want to thank you for writing it. We need thousands more just like you.

Peter Rost said...

Thank you. Maybe simply doing original content on this blog is working. At least it seems as if lots of other press like it, click here.

Argon said...

Well first off I never thought that marriage would work since K-Fed was just bringing out the trailer trash in Britney. (not that it wasn't already there but at least before she had motivation to rise above it) Yes he only made $30,000 as one of her backup dancers and tried for more when he married her by riding on her coattails trying to get famous himself.

I'm only surprised that it took her that long to dump him since it was hurting her career a lot by associating with him.

Especially in that TV show they tried to do called Chaotic, which was the worst parts of home video without even editing put straight on TV. It was canceled after only 2 episodes

I'm betting that the sex tape came from that footage and I hardly doubt it's going to be worth much since if they didn't want to watch it before, then why would they want to watch it now just because there is a possibility of Britney being naked?

I doubt that K-Fed will have much of a career only trying to trade on his name as Britney's ex and will probably find that his 15 mins are up as soon as the divorce is final.

Anonymous said...

"So I think it is wonderful when smart, talented performers like Britney Spears are able to get married."

Interesting factoid - Neither Britney, nor her soon to be Fed-Ex, have a high school education between them.

There is nothing smart or talented about them.

"Do smart girls finish last in love?"

Well, according to this article, things can and are changing -

"Until now, young women haven't adopted that mindset in graduate school or in the early years of their big careers because they believe the myth that it's impossible to have it all.

If the marriage penalty can disappear in a generation, though, there's no reason that young women can't demand that suitors, schools and employers work on a different timetable when it comes to families, too."

Source -;_ylt=Aq10PlZvymdXsvlMh.KHjVj9wxIF;_ylu=X3oDMTA0cDJlYmhvBHNlYwM-

*Wonder how I came across this article. I put 'did Britney Spears finish high school' in the search engine.

Kansas said...

First and foremost, sex appeal should never pass for talent. That’s what‘s wrong with this country. So much mediocre talent making so much money, getting so much attention and worship. Britney sells sex, she’s a highly paid hooker that happens to sing, and not very well at that. She seems like a genuinely sweet girl, but not the brightest lighthouse in the harbor. At least someone surrounding her was smart enough to insist on a pre-nup.

As far as women not going for artists and writers, I say ridiculous! Musicians are artists and they’re NEVER lacking in the female dept. Screenwriters, playwrights, and poets, all very popular with the ladies. Painters seem to always have ladies also. In fact, I can’t think of a single profession in the Arts that isn’t considered quite sexy among women.

I’ve dated a few of the aforementioned, but I’ve never dated a doctor, businessman, or an accountant. Too stodgy for me. As long as a guy HAD a job, I never really cared what he did for a living. But that’s just me.

But it’s back to that old thing, Doc; men want beauty, women want security. It’s the old hunter-gatherer thing again. Maybe we’re hardwired that way. Even women who make more money than the average man wants security. But most men need to feel like the provider and seem to be quite immasculated by a woman making more money than him. I don’t think most men are intimidated by a smart woman, in fact I think they’re attracted to intelligence. But the money thing, now that’s a different story. Most men must be the breadwinner of the family, or you may as well neuter them.

Kansas said...

PS. I really like your new style of posting, Doc. More depth, more discussion.

Although I can't believe I used the word depth in a post about Britney :>

But you know what I mean.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I've been very unlucky, but most of the smart women I've met who have high-powered careers have also been deeply unpleasant characters in one way or another. The smart girls I've met who didn't fancy climbng the career ladder to heady heights seem to be much more well-adjusted (and prettier).

Maybe it's my fragile ego working here (almost certainly in fact), but most senior women managers seem to be generally far nastier than their male counterparts, and that nastiness often spills over into their private lives.

And yes, Doc, you've found a better blog style altogether on recent showing. Look at the responses you are getting, and with not a scantily-clad cheerleader rep in sight!

The variety already looks promising. Big Pharma, Big Government and Britney. I like it. You have a winner, hope you find the time to keep it going...

Anonymous said...

"Depth" ---- "Britney" ---- ???????

I honestly don't follow much of any of this, but...

It'll be interesting who she finally ends up with. It's amazing she still only in her 20s and we'll have to put up with her for a while yet. From adorable to "is her 15 minutes up yet?". It makes people root for guys like K-Fed.

Christina Aguilera seems to have done it right. From slutty to respectable married woman.

Ps: Interesting "short conversation with the hubby" Moogirl on your blog. ;)

Peter Rost said...

I guess, how smart or talented Ms. Spears is can be debated. But the fact is that she's been groomed for this career since she was a child peforming on some Micky Mouse show, and, with or without a high school diploma, it ain't easy to make a 100 mill. That kind of money doesn't just fall in your lap, so, I'd say, she is smart and talented, even if it is just about how she uses sex appeal. Heck, if I could wiggle my butt and make $100 million, I think I just might try doing that . . .

Anonymous said...

"Heck, if I could wiggle my butt and make $100 million, I think I just might try doing that . . ."

Well, better luck next time! (perhaps, in your next life)

Anonymous said...

Doc, I gotta say your attitude about women is a bit cavemanish at times. 'Women this' or 'women that' is sketchy territory. Haven't we agreed collectively that we can't just characterize an entire gender? You seem to have a need to do that.

And you take on a surprisingly chauvenistic persona sometimes.

Here is what my perspective is - I see a lot of single mature (meaning mature not old) professional women either wanting A. a good time or B. something headed for a relationship. This isn't so different from a guy except that the definitions for A and B vary greatly. Many guys think a 'good time'= a pricey meal followed by sex, or maybe they are into sports and fart jokes, or just hoping for the sex. All (intelligent) women I know want to see the inner artist and dig a bit deeper, that is what is fun. They don't want to be impressed, embarrassed or seduced, they want to get to know a real person.

I'm not sure what Britney has to lose over the release of the tapes. Can she 'ruin' her reputation even? Does she even sing anymore? What is with this wave of young famous people that seemingly have no 'product'? (Nicole Richie, Paris Hilton, K-Fed, Britney -as far as I'm concerned). It is as if the 'Have a Cigar' Machine does not even need raw material to work with. They can whip up a personality into superstarstatus with just some leftover glitter and a pretty body).

Peter Rost said...

You're right, hipmama. I take on a tiny bit of a chauvinistic persona, sometimes. Never used to do that. It drives my wife, whom I started dating at eighteen, nuts, since she is not used to such things. Then we have great makeup-sex.

Anonymous said...

I worked with a woman who had just been accepted into med school. I asked her if her husbands law degree had anything to do with her marrying the guy. "Hell yes," she said. She couldn't have married the garbage man. She was going to be a doctor!
Women insist that the mans income is the primary bank account that the family takes from.

Anonymous said...

I'll pipe in. As a 20-something female college-educated professional familiar with the dating scene for those with brains... well, yeah it's hard! I have found that I am dating someone who cares about me and likes that I'm smart and funny and doesn't care that he makes considerably less income. We moved in together about 8 months ago, and since then we've divided up domestic tasks along "fairness" lines that we are both comfortable -- he cooks most meals and does the majority (@ 75%) of the cleaning... I contribute the majority of money (100%) to the grocery budget. We divide the rest of household expenses 50-50. He's a secure, fairly mature (he's 34 years old) man who is comfortable with this arrangement.
But I can almost guarantee that a younger guy (like one my age) with similar educational (associates degree) and income level would not adjust as well to such an arrangement. Maturity helps.
My younger brother is currently attending law school and is engaged to a very emotionally needy, but very service-oriented girl who is actually older than I am. I see in him the desire to have someone idolize/worship him -- this is very different from our own parents who had a peer-level relationship in which they were both artists and therefore both completely self-absorbed in their own worlds. My mother was willing to give her time and energy to my dad's projects, and he was willing to give his time and money to the family, but he didn't return the respect for her creative endeavors, ultimately ruining their relationship.
Personally, I dated one artist (musician) and he was so much like my dad (writer) in that he was self-absorbed that I will really make an effort to avoid such personality-types in the future. If I could find an artist that wasn't wrapped up in their artform and greatness I might consider it... unlikely though from my personal experiences.

Argon said...

My wife said she had similar experiences when she grew up in a small town in Georgia and she told me that she had very few dates because the guys she grew up with were intimidated by a gal that could think for herself. She said it wasn't so much that she wanted to be a virgin as that it was a lack of options that she accept.

But it has always been that gals are attractive because of what they look like and guys are because of what they do, part of it is biological and genetic and part of it is cultural and leftover from the hunter/gatherer stage of society.

hipmama has the point of what reputation does Britney have left to ruin? After that TV show Chaotic who's going to want to watch the video? K-Fed might sell a few copies and then the rest will wind up on the Net and be downloaded all over the place for free.

Britney nver was accused of having depth but that's a relative thing since she has a whole lot more than K-Fed. If Christina Aguilera has 10 time the depth and talent that Britney does, then Britney has 10 times the depth and talent that K-Fed does.

I'm sure she's probably going to have to release something new soon after the divorce and she could do a lot better job than whatever solo thing that K-fed will do on his own.

Anonymous said...

very entertaining read! by the way, my boyfriend doesn't have a fancy education by any means. being a military brat, his education is kind of hodge podge. but he works hard for everything that he has in his life, and he is the man of my dreams, and bends over backwards to make us happy. THOSE things to me are far more important than what he does for a living or how much money he makes. i am lucky in that i am a professional (BN), and so we will never have to really worry about our income or things like that, and he respects me and actually likes the fact that i am my own person. so peter, don't worry, you're not the only guy out there who prefers smart women, i think a lot of younger guys are getting the fact that they don't have to feel intimidated by an equally successful or more successful partner in life.

oh, and by the way, my other half doesn't mind the idea of me becoming a drug sales rep, but does oppose to the provocative approaches that i would use to boost sales. but who am i kidding, like i could really survive without those tactics in that market? miss florida has me beat. dang.

Anonymous said...


Em & Lo wrote about an interesting article about artisty types, Would You Like to See My Etchings? by Em & Lo

I've seen the age difference in some relationships work very well, but I hate to generalize.

Karen said...

Hmmm, I aways thought K-Fed sounded like a discount store.

Anonymous said...

"...has apparently spent his married years with hookers, strippers and was caught with his pants down at the Regency hotel when his wife stormed in. The hotel staff apparently relented and gave her a key, even though she wasn’t signed in, so he got a bit of a surprise. And now two of the hotel employees have been fired. (Can anyone stomp and demand a key to anyone’s room at the Regency?)"

Maybe the K-Fed-kid will know better next time than to register under his own name, and use and alias next time (very easy to do).

Poor K-Fed. Only trying help out those poor college students and temp workers. Hehehe ;)

Oh well, that's how experience is gained. ;)

And for the two employees that got fired, they opened the hotel up to a potential lawsuit and some bad press for themselves. They should have known better...even if it was Britney.

Kansas said...

Lol at discount store. Sounds like a vitamin supplement to me (“Try new and improved K-Fed…”)

Alex, I doubt the employees could sue the hotel, seeing as how I’m sure they have a policy of NOT giving a key to anyone not registered at the hotel, even if it is an angry pop star. But you’re probably right about the bad press. This will kill their business amongst people who are trying to cheat on their spouses!

I would have given the key to her just to watch the ensuing fun…

Anonymous said...

Sorry. I should have clarified my point. I meant that the employees (who were fired) that provided the room number to Britney, opened the hotel up to a potential lawsuit from K-Fed for providing that information to her.

"This will kill their business amongst people who are trying to cheat on their spouses!"

I have a question maybe the good Doc can use as a topic. If someone cheats on their spouse/sigificant other, does it mean they love them any less?

Kansas said...

Oh, ok, yes I see your point now, Alex.

Give K-fed some time. He’s short- bus rider. But when the whole sex tape thing blows up in his face and he becomes an even bigger pariah for tainting Princess Britney’s sterling reputation, I’m sure suing the hotel will be his next big business venture.

And in answer to your question, yes, it means you love them less if you cheat. In fact, it means you don’t love them at all. If you cheat, it means the one you are really in love with is yourself.

But I agree, it should make for a lively topic!

Anonymous said...

Alex, Em&Lo's article was pretty much right on. I've never been one to be purposefully attracted to an artist just because they were an "artist," but I know that some women are... I also have female friends who consider themselves artists (and I consider them alcoholic wanderers). To each his/her own, but knowing what you can live with is really the best way to decide if a relationship is going to work.